A mom from Australia sparked a heated debate online over who is responsible for keeping kids sun-safe at school after posting photos of her severely sunburnt son.
The mom posted photos of her eight-year-old son’s scalp looking bright red after a day at school.
She posted online that she felt “annoyed” the school had let him play so long without sun protection.
The frustrated mother admitted she was at first upset with her son, then the school, and asked the internet if teachers should be responsible for reminding children about sun protection.
In a Facebook group, the mother wrote that she was “pretty annoyed that in 33-degree heat my child’s school didn’t make sure he had sun cream or a hat on at lunchtime”.
“I know he’s eight and should do it without reminder, but he doesn’t always,” she posted. “Do you think the school should be responsible for reminding the kids or not?”
Her post gathered more than 330 comments, with the majority agreeing that the school should have enforced the common policy of ‘no hat, no play’.
While some said her boy should have been sun smarter, the mom clarified her grade-three son did have a hat and sunscreen in his bag.
“Yes he’s old enough to know better … (but) I do feel though that the school should be reminding students especially when so hot,” she said.
The mother said that she was initially angry with her boy, then she turned her attention to the school.
“When I saw how burnt he was I was so mad. Initially with him, but then the school,” she said. “He knows he has to wear sun cream and a hat, we always do when we go out.”
“I asked him why he didn’t have a hat or sun cream on and he told me he had lost his hat,” she added. “He told me he played footy on the oval all of the lunchtime. I asked him if any of the teachers had told him to wear them, but they hadn’t.”
Her 8-year-old son’s head was bright red and the color kept deepening for the next 24 hours while she treated him with Nurofen and Aloe Vera spray.
It took her nearly a week for the sunburn to look better, but when she approached the school about the incident she was shocked at the response.
“The day after it happened I mentioned it to a teacher and asked who was responsible for making sure hats and sun cream are worn and was told it was up to the kids,” the mom said.
Most of the comments on her post were from parents saying the school needed to remind students.
“Around 90 percent of people thought it was definitely up to the teacher to remind the children and that he shouldn’t have been allowed out without a hat,” she said. “The saying ‘no hat, no play’ came up a lot.”
“There were a few people who thought that at age eight he should be old enough to remember himself. I took on everyone’s comments and was glad to hear what everyone had to say,” the mom said. “Some people were even thoughtful enough to suggest some ways to make him feel better, like putting milk on the burns, which I never knew.”
“I think my son has definitely learned a lesson with what has happened!”
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